The Last Voyage Of The Demeter Asks: ‘What If Dracula Was An Alien Movie?’ – /Film

“Alien” and “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” share similar DNA in more ways than one. Ridley Scott and writer Dan O’Bannon hardly invented the concept of using an original monster to reflect very specific fears and themes but, in reality, Bram Stoker couldn’t even claim that honor with his 1897 novel — not when Mary Shelley beat him to the punch almost 80 years prior with “Frankenstein.” Yet that’s precisely the point, isn’t it? Who’s to say where inspiration begins and our collective unconscious ends? For eons, humanity has attempted to filter our worst nightmares into a strange and exaggerated “other,” an avatar capable of funneling our basest tendencies and most frightening potential into the form of one hideous being. “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” carries on that proud tradition, fittingly enough, by looking back at the past.

Nowhere is that more overt than the way the fearsome vampire in “Demeter” echoes the Xenomorph in “Alien.” Constantly hidden in the shadows and content to toy with his victims before taking them down, it’s impossible to watch Dracula wreak havoc on the main deck of the Demeter and in the claustrophobic cabins below without becoming reminded of the blood-splattered walls of the Nostromo. The reconceptualization of Dracula into an animalistic creature driven by an instinctual need for blood is certainly a far cry from the more elegant and refined version that the Bela Lugosi-starring movie almost singlehandedly popularized, but this isn’t merely an aesthetic choice.

Dracula and the eponymous alien represent something altogether more frightening than that. In both films, the relentless monsters represent the unknown and the inexplicable; a perversion of nature itself. They evoke the idea of lust, sexual and otherwise. But more than anything else, they’re reminders that evil comes from within.

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